Greensleeves Records’ Evolution of Dub series has over a number of years put the spotlight on key moments in the development of dub. Now the time has come for the series eighth volume, and this one offers something new compared to previous editions.
Evolution of Dub Vol. 8 – The Search for New Life includes two previously unreleased albums – Two Friends Crew’s Voyage into Dub and Shane Brown’s Juke Boxx Dub. The former collects a number of late 80s and early 90s version sides from the Two Friends label, a label run by Mikey Bennett and Patrick Lindsay, two producers and engineers that at the time worked closely with ragga giant Augustus “Gussie” Clarke.
Shane Brown is a Jamaican producer and engineer, and probably best known for his recent work for Busy Signal and Etana.
The other two sets are Prince Jammy’s Computerised Dub, a novelty effort that gives a dubwise/instrumental treatment to some mid 80s early digital gems, and Alborosie’s Dub Clash, a scarce set originally released in 2010 and where Puppa Albo dubs some of his bestsellers.
Picks of the bunch are the two contemporary sets from Shane Brown and Alborosie. The original versions for the dubs on these sets are mostly flawless and both producers/engineers are imaginative when it comes to mixing, especially Alborosie, who has given all tracks a dash of vintage flavour.
As usual, the four disc box set comes with excellent liner notes telling the story of dub and the story behind each album.
Italian/Jamaican reggae superstar Alborosie recently unleashed a dub version of his acclaimed Sound the System album, a set released in June. It’s his second dub effort and follows the superb Dub Clash, released in 2010 and to be reissued in 2014 as part of Evolution of Dub Vol. 8.
Sound the System was a vintage affair and offered a mix of live instrumentation and analogue recording techniques. Then it’s only natural for Alborosie to tramble the same path with the dub counterpart, and Dub the System of course echoes from past times, especially the 80s and the sounds of Sly & Robbie.
Alborosie himself has deconstructed all the tracks and then re-built them with passion and flare. The dub versions showcase his sense for melody, strong hooks and memorable horn parts. The dubs are warm, rich and flavourful and bridges nicely to the original versions.
I’m especially fond of the aggressive saxophone on Dub Concern and when Puppa Albo takes the role as funkmaster on Who Run the Dub. Excellent to say the least.
Dub the System is currently only available on vinyl.
”He’s immensely talented”. These words are from legendary selector and radio DJ David Rodigan when he described the Italian stallion Alberto D’Ascola aka Alborosie aka Puppa Albo. The parmiggiano lover out of Sicily, now living in Jamaica.
I concur with David Rodigan, especially after listening to Alborosie’s new set Dub Clash, an album where he shows a new side of himself.
This is a unique dub album on several levels. First, it’s been recorded and mixed in Kingston. Not usual for a dub album today. Second, Alborosie has produced and mixed it as well as playing drums, bass, keyboards, guitar and percussion on it. Third, it’s been made with original organic vintage effects, creating an old school feeling without losing its contemporary vibe.
The album includes Alborosie tunes together with riddims I don’t recall him voicing, for example Full Up, Baltimore and Queen of the Minstrel.
There are several Alborosie numbers included, for example versions of No Cocaine, Kingston Town and Global War. However, I miss dubwise excursions of Waan the Herb, Herbalist and Rastafari Anthem.
Dub Clash is dedicated to King Tubby, referred to as Alborosie’s teacher. But this is not merely a tribute set. Alborosie has managed to push the buttons and turn the wheels creating a style for himself that we hopefully haven’t heard the last of.